APERTURE BOOK PARTY: Saturday, Oct. 25, 3pm

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©Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, “Memory City” at Robert Klein Gallery, Boston; with “Slant Rhymes” at Ars Libri/RKG, Boston, thru Oct. 31

APERTURE BOOK PARTY with Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Larry Fink and Denise Wolff, 3pm: https://www.aperture.org/event/photography-workshop-series-fink-webbs/

“There is a poem by the twelfth-century Telugu poet Nanne Coda that I often think about: ‘An arrow shot by an archer/ or a poem made by a poet/ should cut through your heart/ jolting the head.’ We go to photography for this shock of recognition that registers in the body. When I took a workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Aperture Foundation in New York City, I found among my fellow students a shared curiosity about what can make a photograph work in this way, what can help it transcend the ordinary. We all wanted to know how to bring out the potential in our photographic visions.

We were all drawn to this particular workshop, in the first place, by our admiration for the teachers’ photography. Alex Webb’s pictures are justly celebrated prodigies of vision. In three decades of work, he has created a distinctive voice that is radically different from its street-photography antecedents, the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Lee Friedlander. And yet, his labyrinthine and tightly constructed pictures are also deeply soulful, often hinting at realities beyond the visible by a skillful use of hot color and inky shadow. Geoff Dyer, in his afterword to Alex’s monograph ‘The Suffering of Light,’ aptly described him as a ‘metaphysical photographer.’

Soulfulness is also key to Rebecca Norris Webb’s work, which is otherwise stylistically different from Alex’s. In Rebecca’s street photography, what we get is not the complex geometry of public interactions, but the capture of private moods in semi-public spaces, in the tradition of those quietly reflective photographs of Andre Kertesz, Robert Frank, Saul Leiter, images that suggest as much about the photographer’s interiority as the wider world. I think of her images as being ventilated, full of entrances and exits. She is a visual poet of thresholds, often making use of reflections, aquaria, curtains, windows to evoke those other more metaphoric meeting places —between one’s interior landscape and the natural world, reverie and reality, life and death. I remember sitting down with her book ‘My Dakota.’ After a while, I was drawn into the intense quiet of those photos. The world fell away. I could hear my heart beating. The hush, grief, and emotional undertow as I turned each page made me curious: how does a photographer create such stillness?

But we students were not there to learn specific styles of photography. There was no question of imitating either Rebecca or Alex. We were after some greater wisdom: about the attitude in which one presses the shutter, the thinking with which a series of photos might be sequenced, and the realities one has to negotiate to turn an idea for a book into a crafted physical object. In a congenial and collegial atmosphere, they taught us how to pursue those moments of fugitive poetry that are at the heart of great photography.”—Teju Cole, introduction to “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image”

ONE TUITION-FREE WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIP available for the upcoming FINDING YOUR VISION @ THE MIAMI STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL. This scholarship is available to all photographers, 18 and older.

To apply, please email:

  • 10 small jpgs (72dpi, 8 inches on longest side)
  • Include a 100 word essay about your relationship with photography (such as student, passionate amateur, photojournalist, photography teacher, fine art photographer), and what you see as your next step photographically (in a word doc, if possible)
  • Include your name, address

DEADLINE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 27TH, 2014

EMAIL THIS APPLICATION TO: Alex and Rebecca, webbnorriswebb@gmail.com, and please place the word, SCHOLARSHIP, on the subject line.

To learn more about the  FINDING YOUR VISION WORKSHOP IN MIAMI.

EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS:

—SATURDAY, OCT. 25, APERTURE FOUNDATION, NYC, 3-4:30PM: Join Aperture, Larry Fink, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb for an afternoon of presentations and readings from the recently launched The Photography Workshop Series. In the series, Aperture works with the world’s top photographers to distill their creative approaches, teachings, and insights on photography—offering the workshop experience in a book.

Fink and the Webbs will present their titles, Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Imagefollowed by a Q&A with the books’ editor, Denise Wolff, and book signings.  For more information on the book party follow this link.

——NEW WORKSHOP ADDED: FINDING YOUR VISION @ MIAMI STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL, Monday Dec. 1-Friday Dec. 5, 2014.

CURRENT AND UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS, REVIEWS:

——THRU OCT. 31, BOSTON, MEMORY CITY at ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY; SLANT RHYMES at ARS LIBRI WITH ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY;

REVIEW OF THE TWO BOSTON SHOWS BY ELIN SPRING.

——FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7: CHICAGO: MEMORY CITY ARTIST RECEPTION, TALK, AND BOOK SIGNING, STEPHEN DAITER GALLERY: 5:30-8, with artist talk from 5:30-6pm

——PARIS PHOTO BOOK SIGNINGS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, \Grand Palais, Paris: APERTURE BOOTH: 3:30pm book signing with the Webbs of “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image” and Alex’s “The Suffering of Light”; SATURDAY, NOV. 15, 3:00pm at RADIUS BOOKS booth: Webb book signing of “Memory City” and some of the last copies of “My Dakota” and some of their limited editions.

GROUP SHOWS

——THURSDAY, SEPT. 18-November 1, 2013, “Rectangular Squares,” at Sepia Eye Gallery, NYC, a group exhibition with Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, and other photographers. Sepia Eye is located at 547 W. 27th, 6th floor.

——SATURDAY, OCT. 11-OCT. 19, CASTELNUOVOFOTOGRAFIA FESTIVA, ITALY: CONTATTI: Contact sheets and prints of Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Jason Eskenazi, Donna Ferrato, Lucia Nimcova, Roger Ballen, Callie Shell, and Anders Petersen.

REVIEWS/INTERVIEWS

——MEMORY CITY REVIEW in Fraction

——SLANT RHYMES: Interview with Teju Cole and the Webb on the New Yorker Photo Booth

 

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